Training Update

It’s been a few weeks since I checked in with my training or current fitness levels. I’m happy to say that I’ve been lightly running and even raced a few local 5ks. I’ve enjoyed every run and I’m looking forward to adding races on my calendar. Speaking of which, I already have three that I’ve registered for within the next few weeks.

Up next I have a local 5k, and two half marathons…..Wait, what? Two half marathons in the next six weeks, without a full training plan? Yep! But to be honest, these are more like training runs and helping me to keep my fitness levels up for 2016. So let’s catch up and take a look at this week’s runs.

Monday: 3.1 Miles + Abs + Kettle bell

Tuesday: 4 Miles, 1 Mile w/u, 3×800 with 400 recovery, 1 Mile c/d + Abs

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 0

Friday: 0

Saturday: 10 Miles

Sunday: 3.5 Miles + Abs

Total Miles: 20.6 Miles

Monday was the perfect day to run. With the sun setting sooner each day, I knew this would be one of the last after work runs I could get in on the back roads. So I did a nice recovery run from the previous day’s long run. I felt great and even pushed myself a bit on the hills. I kept it short because I started to run out of daylight, and I didn’t have my headlamp with me. I followed up the run with abs and a kettle bell workout I found on Pinterest.

Tuesday I jumped on the treadmill and did my first speed workout in months. It was a bit rough, mostly because I’m still a little out of shape, but also because of a nasty cold. I kept it light at three 800 repeats, but will work my way up and most likely switch between 800 and mile repeats over the next few months. I followed this workout with more abs, and missing swimsuit season.

Wednesday-Friday were rest days. I’m more relaxed about training now, so it was nice to catch up with friends in the middle of the week, as well as give my body some time to hopefully get over the cold that latched on.

Saturday was my longest run since July and the confidence booster I needed. I’ve been doing some 6 and 8 mile runs, but if I could get to 10, I knew I could swing a few half marathons. The weather was a bit chilly at about 35 degrees, but I welcomed it with open arms. We had a small group and started at Buckeye Woods, running the marsh loop, trail and then coming out the back side. From there we made a large loop past the inlet and up to the rail trail, and back to the entrance of Buckeye Woods.

How can you not want to run this?

How can you not want to run this?

Our pace was pretty consistent and stayed around 9:15/9:20. It dipped into the 10’s during the trail section, which was expected. The average pace was 9:33 and my strongest run in quite a while. I took a Honey Stinger chew at mile 7, but probably could have used it at 6. I honestly felt great during this run, and managed to get down to 8:55 pace for almost the last mile and a half. I know long runs can’t all be great, but this was exactly what I needed to keep me on track.

Long runs are better with friends!

Long runs are better with friends!

Sunday morning I had meant to get up early and join a group run, but after tossing and turning all night with achy legs and hips, I decided to sleep in and run later on in the day. It ended up being the right choice because on my afternoon run through the neighborhood I felt like I was floating! I ran a nice little loop and turned down some streets I haven’t been on for over a year. Maybe it was the refreshing new route or the cooler weather, but I was able to dip down to sub 9 and bounced back and forth between 8:55 and 8:20 pace. I based my run off how I felt, instead of pace, and apparently my legs were feeling great!

This week was the best week training wise that I’ve had in quite some time. I got all my workouts in and I ran faster than I thought I would at this point. I’m certainly not close to any PR’s, but I’m enjoying running and gearing up for what will be a great and race filled 2016!

Akron Half Marathon Training: Week Seven

This week I was really focused on getting back on track. And I did! I got every single workout in and I feel like this was my strongest week yet. I just hope this isn’t a one time thing, and I can keep the momentum going.

Monday: 0

Tuesday: 3.75 Miles, 1 Mile W/U, 4×400 w/200 recovery (1:34, 1:28, 1:32, 1:31),1×400 jog turns-sprint straights 2×100 (.19, .18) .75 Mile C/D

Wednesday: 5 Miles

Thursday: 6.64 Miles

Friday: 0

Saturday: 12 Miles

Sunday: 4.28 Miles

Total Miles: 31.67 Miles

Tuesday I stopped at my parent’s house after work. After waiting for the heat to die down a bit I eventually made it to my old high school track with my sister. We started with a mile warm up and then went into our 400 repeats. Claire ran the first one with me, and watched the other three. I forgot how much I hate 400’s and felt like I was going to throw up after everyone. But considering this was the first time I’d done them on the track in over a year, I was ok with my times. Next up, Claire joined me for a lap of jogging the turns and sprinting the straights. She beat me both times, which shows she’s the sprinter, and I’m made for distance. We followed it up with 3 cool down laps.

    You never forget your first track.

You never forget your first track.

Wednesday I met up with Mallory and we headed over to Allerdale after our first choice park was closed. This was only the second time I’d been to Allerdale, the first being last fall. The whole park looked completely different and it was a nice change of scenery. Since the trails are short, we looped around a lot, almost too much. I also forgot how hilly it is, but my legs reminded me as they were screaming towards the end of the run. But the constant hills are almost worth the views.

Top of the Park

Top of the Park

On Thursday I met up with Mallory again and we started our run at Medina Lake. We made our way around the lake and headed into The Reserve development.  It was another hilly run with gradual and semi steep hills around the development, the views of the lake, and the far too expensive homes make it a nice place to run. We took a wrong turn and ended up taking the longer way back to our cars via Rt 18. We finished up with almost 7 miles, and very tired legs.

Saturday I was finally able to get the long run in that I’d been hoping for. I met up with Mo, Jennifer and Sarah and we made our way around Medina. We started on the half course, made our way past Lake Medina and looped around a few developments. The first half of the run we kept the pace between 9:05-9:15. I was feeling pretty good despite how many hills I’d already fun this week. By the time we got to mile 8 I could feel my legs starting to get tired. Our pace slowed down a bit due to the weather warming up, lack of water, and a more hillier route we were running. Once we got passed mile 10 I could feel my body starting to slow down more and really I was ready to be done. We finally got back to the square to finish up 12 miles for the day.

On Sunday I met up with Melissa for a nice easy recovery run. We met up half way at Bonnie Park and headed north before turning off on one of the paths. It was pretty warm by the time we started so our pace was a little slow, but perfect for a recovery run. Even though I was extremely hot, sweaty and thirsty, I still felt pretty good considering my high jump in mileage from last week to this week.

Week Seven Thoughts:

  • This week I got in all 5 workouts, which I haven’t been able to do since the beginning of the training cycle. I felt really strong throughout most of the week and thankfully a few rough weeks didn’t hurt me as much as I expected. This past week was what I’ve been aiming to do every week (minus some of the hills) but I just haven’t been able to get things to work out. I’m hoping I can keep up the 30+ miles per week and maybe they’ll pay off when it’s race time.
  • It is now clear to me that 400 repeats are my most hated speed workout. I feel like the entire time I have to be running at full speed or I’ll slip into a much more relaxed pace. And I always feel miserable once I finish.  In high school we ran 400 repeats under 1:30 all the time. Now I’ll be lucky when I accidentally run under 1:30.